The Mexican government is considering proposals to increase the scope of private investors in the natural gas industry by including exploration, Energy Secretary Ernesto Martens said.
In a news conference Sunday, Martens said a bill sent to Congress seeking to attract more private investment in the state-run electricity sector doesn't include proposals for natural gas.
Exploration activities are currently limited to state-run oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex.
Martens said the multiple service contracts that Pemex plans to tender later this year to step up natural gas production in the Burgos fields of northeastern Mexico won't meet demand.
The Burgos contracts are expected to add 1 billion cubic feet (28 million cubic meters) a day to Pemex's gas production by 2006, but demand projections suggest gas imports would still be close to 1 billion cubic feet (28 million cubic meters) a day.
Private investment in storage, transmission and distribution of natural gas has been allowed in Mexico since 1995. ©
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